Mozart, eat your heart out

October 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm

I’m said before that Mozart wrote the Requiem against which all others are judged. I’ve also mentioned how the intense emotions of that piece foreshadow a big change in musical style between the 18th and 19th centuries. Mozart’s is a masterpiece, classical in balanced form and romantic in dramatic execution. But what if we dump that balance and go straight for the feels – specifically, the OMG-I’m-afraid-to-die day-of-judgment fire-and-brimstone scared-out-of-my-wits feels?

Enter Giuseppe Verdi, the revolutionary composer who helped Italian Opera stay on the map. His Requiem IS an opera; the emotional drama is as chilling as Othello, heart-wrenching as Traviata, dark as Rigoletto. When we hear about the day of judgment, we are scared. We are very very scared. And when Verdi’s angel sounds the trumpet (at 2:25, “Tuba Mirum”), it makes me want to cower under my desk. Mozart’s Tuba? not so much. Makes me want to do a Mr. Bean dance.

Kudos to the performers here for having A LOT of singers in the choir, so the brass could play at full-volume!

The music is scary up until 4:10, at which point it’s the conductor’s face which is scary.